So you got your manuscript back from your editor. Now what?
The most important thing to remember is the issues in your story are not a reflection of who you are as a writer or a person. They don’t make you bad. Every author from Stephen King to Nora Roberts needs an editor. There is nothing personal about your edit and no one thinks any less of you after it than before.
The less you can take it personally, the better the experience is going to be.
This truly is the first step to approaching an edit.
Depending on the service that was provided, you’ll probably receive several documents along with your in-text queries. This can be anything from a review letter to resources to examples. (You can find what services I provide HERE.)
If you receive a full edit from me, you’ll be provided with a review letter and in-text queries, along with resources on genre conventions and the five requirements if applicable.
Always start with the review letter. It explains the main issues of the story starting with the most important and working down to the smallest.
If story requirements and genre convention resources have been shared, they’ll correspond with the letter. There’s a reason they’ve been shared. It’s best to learn about these elements before moving on.
Once you understand the major issues, go on through the smaller ones. Make sure you understand what the issue is, why it’s an issue, and the ways to address it. Then go through the manuscript quickly, reading over some of the queries and paying attention to any patterns.
This is the time to make notes on a separate piece of paper about any questions or concerns you may have. If your editor allows questions after delivery (I do), now is the time to ask.
Note that not all editors allow for questions after an edit has been delivered. This depends on the editor, what service they’ve provided, and what they know about the manuscript before the edit starts. But, if you can ask, make sure it’s within the allotted time they’ve specified. Any longer, and there may be extra fees.
This time frame isn’t to make you rush. It’s because editors usually have several stories on their desks. They’ve allotted time to answer questions without compromising the quality of their other work. Don’t wait too long or they probably won’t remember all the nuances, which would compromise the quality of your edit.
Now that all your questions are answered, it’s time to get to work. Address the bigger issues first (if there are any). The in-text queries will show where things can be changed and coordinate with the review letter.
Remember to take frequent breaks so you don’t suffer from creative exhaustion. Schedule your time wisely so that you are making progress consistently.
Once all your story elements are set, it’s time to work on the other queries. Address each one as they come up. Some will tell you to address things later in the story, so take care of those. It’s like a giant to-do list, though you may end up skipping around the manuscript.
Whew, bet that’s a lot of work! I promise it’s going to be so worth it.
Ready to get some feedback to help create a strong emotional connection? Schedule your FREE draft assessment NOW!